Zuberoa Aznárez the vocalist from the Spanish metal band Diabulus In Musica was more than eager to speak with me about the band’s new release, Secrets. I was unfamiliar with Diabulus In Musica before this disc crossed my desk but it has quickly earned its way into regular rotation in my CD player. These guys play a brand of contagious symphonic rock that gained my attention straight away and is incredibly enjoyable to listen to. Here is what Aznárez had to say about the band and their new release Secrets.
Your brand new CD, Secrets, was released on May 25th. Now that it is complete, how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Zuberoa: Wow! Really excited! And to be honest we also feel a big relief. The process of making the album took a long time. We had to cope with the departure of our former drummer, with the different timetables of the musicians, each member’s jobs. When we finished the album, we almost could not believe it! So, what can I say now? It is fantastic not only to listen to the album but also to finally touch and smell it and above all, to know that now everybody can have it even on the other side of the world!
Since this is your first interview for PureGrainAudio. Can you introduce the band and tell us how it all got started, that kind of thing.
Zuberoa: DiM was born in 2006. I started the project because I wanted to develop my own ideas and express myself through the music I liked: metal and classical. All the members knew each other from the local metal scene of Pamplona and most of us were friends before creating DiM. Gorka (keyboard player) played in two well-known power metal bands in the city. I started to sing in one of them and Adrián (guitar player) started to play the guitar in the other. Both bands disappeared so Gorka and I decided to invite Adrián to join us in the new project we were about to start: DiM. Xabi (drummer) joined us while recording Secrets. He was Adrián’s friend, they also played together in a cover band and Alex (bass player and the most recent member) also knew Adrián because they had worked together in another rock project. We had another drummer and bass player before, but they had to leave the band due to personal reasons.
Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Zuberoa: Our influences are mainly metal and classical music, although one can also find some ambient or ethnic sounds in our music. I suppose that all the music you listen to during your life it influences your music in one way or another, but I do not think about any specific band or genre when I write the songs.
What was the writing process like for this CD? Did you guys all write together? How long did it take?
Zuberoa: It wasn’t really difficult to write the songs because we were three people who wrote them and we had many ideas. We do not write together, I mean, usually one of us write a complete song and then forward it to the other band members. It is in that moment when we start to work together, to arrange the songs until we consider they are completely finished. It is difficult to tell how long it took to write them. During the first year of work, we were selected as finalists in several contests so we were focused in shows, not in writing more stuff. When that period finished we started to write more songs. In 2008, we had more than twenty songs! So we started to think about recording an album. As we weren’t in a hurry since we were an unsigned band, we took our time to select the songs for the album and arrange them for the orchestra and the choir.
What can fans expect when they pick up a copy of Secrets?
Zuberoa: They will find a balance between symphonic music, big choirs and metal in every genre. I would also add that we love searching for new sounds so you can expect anything from our music!
The songs on your new record Secrets are not exactly what you would find on your typical metal album. You offer a welcome range of musical sounds and abilities. Do you think this is due in part to your varied influences and/or a desire to explore new realms of music?
Zuberoa: Both of them I would say. As I said before, we were three people who wrote the songs for Secrets and all of us have our own musical background, so there’s definitely a mixture of influences in our music. We also adore exploring all the possibilities that sound can offer to our music and we are really open-minded in this field. We cannot stop searching for new things as long as they fit the song we are writing. Every note and every sound has a sense in DiM.
Are there any tracks on this disc that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Zuberoa: Every song is special and has its own story, collaborations, memories from the studio… “Come to Paradise” for example, was the second song we wrote when we started with DiM in 2006, so it has a very special meaning to us. When I listen to it I remember the same excitement I felt when we were about to start the project. It has changed a little bit, but it sounds almost as it was at the beginning. “St. Michael’s Nightmare” is the last one we wrote and I think it can be like a summary of all the ingredients of DiM. We had a lot of fun writing it, so it is also special to us. Oddly, these two songs appear in the album in the same order they were written, second and last.
What kind of music are you listening to? Do you keep abreast of new music?
Zuberoa: The music I listen the most is obviously classical and metal. I study classical singing and I sing in a chamber choir so I have (and like, of course) to listen to the stuff I study. Metal has been always in my life, because my older sister was a big fan of heavy metal in the 80’s, so along with classical (my mother is a music teacher) is the music I have grown with. I am also a big fan of Celtic, ethnic, folk music. Well, I keep abreast of new music, but of the one I like, I mean, in the field of metal, specially the one related with symphonic and folk metal. For the rest of music I am more ‘classical’, I am not very keen on pop music for example and, to be honest, I don’t know anything of that new stuff.
Could you tell us where the name Diabulus In Musica comes from?
Zuberoa: Diabulus in Musica is a Latin mediaeval word that means ‘the devil in music’. It was like that as they called the triton or the interval of the augmented fourth. The medieval ear was used to hearing perfect fourths and perfect fifths. The augmented fourth, being half-way between these two most common intervals, was about the worst discord imaginable. That is why they thought that the devil was inside the triton. As Early Music is my favorite style in classical and actually is what I usually sing in the choir, I chose this name. It was perfect for us not only because of the meaning it has to me, but also because it sounds a bit dark, as our music sometimes. We like this ‘dark romantic esthetic’ as well as Early Music, so we thought Diabulus in Musica was the name that fit us the best.
How much roadwork do you expect to be doing this 2010?
Zuberoa: For the moment, we are playing a few concerts to present Secrets in June. The first one is going to be in our city and after this one; we are going to play at Dokk’em in Holland and in Mexico City. In October, we are playing at MFVF and it’s from this month that our manager is planning to tour around Europe, but nothing is confirmed yet.
Any plans to hit the States?
Zuberoa: We’d loooove to!!! Let’s see if people like Secrets in the States and maybe then a tour would be possible in the future. Cross fingers.
Any closing words?
Zuberoa: Yeah! Thank you so much for your questions; it is only a pleasure to answer them. Many thanks to all the readers as well and of course to our USA fans! Let us hope to see you soon on tour! [ END ]